Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Village of fear

...Murder accused released: Tableland women report threats


UNEASY: The scene at Robert Village, Tableland yesterday where residents are living in fear following the recent release of a man who was accused of murdering a woman in the area 11 years ago and who has reportedly threatened women in the area. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

Mark Fraser

THE people of Robert Village, Tableland are living in fear.

They have been forced to lock themselves inside their homes and walk in groups after nightfall.

“We are a close-knit community...we not accustomed living so,” one resident told the Express yesterday.

Their distress started weeks ago following the release of a man who was accused of murdering a woman in the area 11 years ago.

The man was acquitted of the offence last December.

Since then, female residents have made reports to the police of being told by the man that they will be his next victims.

One woman who requested anonymity said she was harassed on Christmas Day.

She said she saw the man standing in the dark under a mango tree as she was heading home around 6.45 p.m.

The woman said the man told her she would be next.

The 33-year-old mother of three said it was a few days later that she saw a picture of the man and was able to identify him as the same man on whom a car light had shone in the dark.

“I got an instant fear,” she said.

She said she was also able to recognise the man as the same person who had followed her in Rio Claro days later.

“I pray a lot. I say God is my protector,” she said yesterday.

Another woman stopped her daily exercise routine of walking the street, after the man held onto her hand.

Other residents claimed they have seen the man who had been staying at abandoned houses. He was also spotted in bushy areas at the back of people’s homes.

Pictures have since been posted on business places, schools and light-poles in the area telling people to beware.

Some posters have been torn down.

Residents said they have seen an increase in the police presence in the area, especially at nights.

A senior police officer instructed that a unit make regular patrols throughout the village, the Express was told.